Saya, a fembot developed by professor Hiroshi Kobayashi of the Tokyo University of Science in 2004 can recognize and respond to human speech well enough to direct customers in the Takashimaya department store, where she currently "works" as a receptionist:
... the speech-capable robot can provide about 700 programmed responses to questions and commands — enough to direct customers to the appropriate floor, make small talk, and answer a few basic questions about herself and her background.
Pneumatic actuators in Saya’s head allow her to move her neck, mouth and eyes while she speaks. She can produce facial expressions ranging from happiness and surprise to sadness and anger.
She may be a technological wonder, but her creepy face isn't exactly what I'd expect from Japan. Come on, guys - it's 2009! Leave the badly molded face to Disney's Pirate of the Caribbean animatronics - where's the hot fembots we'd come to expect from you?